New adult women shoot arrows at a target at Sanjusangendo Buddhist temple in Kyoto on Sunday. Photo: KYODO
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2,000 women take part in New Year archery event

19 Comments

About 2,000 women who are or will turn 20 years old as of April 1 took part in an annual New Year archery event for new adults at Sanjusangendo, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, on Sunday.

The archery tournament (kyudo in Japanese) involves the women shooting at a 0ne-meter-wide target 60 meters away. The archers shoot in groups of six. Each archer is given two arrows and has two minutes in which to hit the targets. Those who hit the target with both arrows advance to the second round.

The traditional event dates back to the early 1600s.

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19 Comments
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always cool

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Where do they keep the second arrow?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

impressive and disciplined, Rika Hood, Japanese equivalent of Robin of Locksley, my Aunt informs me a Shiko yebira can hold up to a dozen arrows. ho hum

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Could we not ask them to go to PyeongChang to represent Japan?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The upper body strength needed to draw a traditional English longbow is enormous - seasoned archers had arms like a bear. Target distance started at 200 meters through 300 meters or further. I'd like to see women who could hit one of those targets!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The second arrow is held between the little finger and the palm of the right (gloved) hand.

It is quite a feat to unleash the notched arrow without dropping the second (held) one.

These ladies are on their second shot and the second arrow is the one notched and ready to go.

Re the Olympics;

There was debate about introducing kyudo as an Olympis sport at the time of the first Tokyo Olympics.

Some said that it would spread kyudo around the world . (A good thing)

Others said that it would reduce kyudo to a competion between oponents and take away the true meaning of the Way of the Bow (A bad thing)

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Hi garymalmgren

Clearly you are have expertise in these matters.

So please humour me, and a question, why would a competitor hold  the second arrow  between the little finger and the palm of the right (gloved) hand, when logically,  each archer is given two arrows and has two minutes in which to hit the targets.  It stands to reason there is adequate time to reach into a quiver for the second arrow?  

I am no expert you understand, I do have some experience of clay pigeon shooting, I can reload from a jacket at speed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Awesome picture. This is something Japan can be proud of.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Second arrow, you keep on one of your hip, between sash and your body. No one want tooo damage your fingers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Have always loved this event. I forget about it every year until it happens. Next time!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hi Rock and roll

When you start kyudo it seems cackhanded.

You think to yourself, "This is a stupid way of doing it",

Then one day you get it.

It is smooth (as your relaoding), calm, flowing and on those rare occasions there is no distinction between bow, arrow, target and shooter, There just ,"is".

Sounds like a load of rubbish doesn't it.

Gary

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many thanks Gary. Sounds like one has to master the art.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would love to be able to try Japanese style archery. My brother took classes and really enjoyed it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish there was somewhere in my area (Kashiwa) which offered classes in this venerable art. I tried English archery for a brief spell and loved it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bungle - the draw weight of an English war bow was in the region of 140 - 150 pounds depending on the archer. Modern archers I have seen using the yew bow usually are about 70lb with the ladies at about 35lb.

garymalmgren Sounds like a load of rubbish doesn't it.

No not at all, the English war bow was drawn not to the face as most do today but to the ear, so there is no way to "sight" down the arrow so the archer had to "know" where the arrow would go from long practice. The English archers didn't make a phylosophy out of it as the Japanese did, different mind set, but a similar result.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Love the young lady at the front of the picture who has just loosed her arrow, the look of concentration, brilliant!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kyudo would make a good addition to the Olympics archery. It's much more intuitive than what archery has become. If you look at a modern competition bow it's a machine. Kyudo is much more "the way of the bow" in the way the longbow is.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Beautiful picture. The ladies and uniforms are gorgeous.

I have done Kyudo. It is alot harder than you would think.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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